Coe College Residency:

Durward Ensemble is holding a residency at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa for the spring semester 2019 with 3 concerts lined up for January, February and May. The first will be a performance will be on January 20 that features works from our recent recording Daughters of Earth: new music by women composers with a few additional pieces from our inaugural performance added to give a glimpse of our ensemble in one concert.

Our second performance on February 24 will feature all African-American composers. We have commissioned three composers: Matthew Evan Taylor featuring new music artist Megan Ihnen; Derek Carter; and Darian Thomas. We will be playing two works by Meredith Butterworth and Anthony R. Green from the Nathan Matthews consortium project.

The third concert will be on May 11 featuring all Iowa composers. The Iowa composers set will feature Coe College emeritus composition faculty Jerry Owen, Iowa State University faculty Jodi Goble featuring Coe College faculty Loralee Songer, and Luther College faculty Brooke Joyce. To complete the third program we have a call for scores in the Iowa Composer’s Forum to select 2-4 additional pieces.

Included in this residency are: a masterclass to the sound engineer class about the recording process and what all it entails; and a reading session in the middle of the semester to read through student compositions and provide instant feedback to the young composers. At the end of the semester we will travel to two Cedar Rapids schools to promote Coe College and new music to the students by featuring works we have commissioned.

***************Previous Updates***************

8/4/18: Recording session for Daughters of Earth

10/10/17: We are excited to announce that Durward has been invited to perform at Illinois State University in Normal, IL on January 30, 2018. We will be performing the same works we premiered back in August along with a new premiere by Laura Elise Schwendinger, composer in residence at the University of Wisconsin.


Our next performances will be on August 24, 2017 at Kirkwood Community College in Ballantyne Auditorium and August 26 at Luther Memorial Chapel on the campus of Grand View University in Des Moines. Both performances will be at 7:30 p.m. We are featuring all music by female composers and a female conductor. Newly commissioned works will be by: Martha Horst of Illinois State University, Lisa Neher, and Laura Schwartz. On the program we will also feature trio for piano, clarinet, and cello composed by the Miriam Gideon and four movements of Brushstrokes by Laura Schwedinger from the University of Wisconsin. During the month of August and particularly the week leading up to the event we will do a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. Select the fundraising tab to find out more and to donate.


10/11/16 Durward Ensemble is looking forward to a few new projects. One in the spring of 2017 that will feature our strings, a newly commissioned piece by Jason Palamara, and with the addition of a few smaller chamber pieces and possibly modern solos.  Next August we will feature all women composers in collaboration with a fundraiser for breast cancer research.


9/10/16 I want to take this opportunity to thank all of the incredible musicians, composers, and guest conductor of Durward Ensemble from Thursday’s  inaugural concert at Kirkwood Community College. Also a big thank you to Kirkwood CC for providing a great venue, promotion of the event, and Joe Perea for allowing us to use all of Kirkwood’s fantastic percussion instruments for out first concert.